Chinese Import Numbers Provide Mild Relief to Confidence

After Hard Six-Day Stretch

Rumors of China’s demise may have been greatly exaggerated or, if nothing else, seemed to be rooted more in paranoia of an unending global economic malaise than anything else amid its latest trade data.

China unveiled its monthly trade statistics this week claiming a $31.5 billion trade surplus in July, the highest level since 2009. While its dominance and a 20.4% surge in exporting up to $175.1 billion in (USD) could possibly act as an annoyance to other nation’s falling far behind in trade amid concerns of currency manipulation, exporters from other countries could take solace in its importing activity. After a disappointing June, Chinese importing jumped 22.9% to $144.6 billion.

Whatever the politics of trade and currency valuation, there is positive news to take out of the numbers that struggles in the European Union and a noteworthy credit downgrade for the United States hasn’t doomed the world economy.

“The trade surplus was the biggest in two years and that suggests that demand for China’s exports have continued to grow,” said NACM Economist Chris Kuehl. “This is pretty good news for those who have been insisting that there is no real sign of global expansion. It seems that consumers are still alive enough to buy the goods from China. This rise in output comes despite the efforts by the Chinese leadership to slow down the economy a little.”

In June, its trade surplus increased to $22.3 billion, up more than $10 billion from the previous month. Hinting at signs of a slowing economy was China’s import growth rate. Though still considered high at 19.3% in June, it had fallen from May’s 28.4% import growth rate. 

Any drop in Chinese importing could be a hit for U.S.- and European Union-confidence levels as businesses that have been increasingly reliant upon the Asian powerhouse’s continued growth, especially in middle class consumer culture, to offset losses and stagnation caused by the lack of a strong economic rebound in their parts of the globe.

Brian Shappell, NACM staff writer